Another weekend hike, this time with Life-Time Friend and two of her girlfriends. This time the hike was another short 8miles because I wanted to get back to take my nephew, H, swimming, and because one of the girlfriends was leaving dad at home with the new baby for the first time and didn't want to be gone too long. It was another glorious day and it got warm enough to initiate the first skinny dipping of the season. The first is always the hardest - throwing your warm body into streams or lakes full of fresh snow or ice melt - but once you've done the first one you pretty much have to do it every hike that the weather is nice. In comparison the local municipal pool was a hot tub.
The only bad thing about the hike was that the Disreputable Dog (DDog)was not allowed to go. He has some sort of severe shoulder injury and is on restricted activity and will be seeing a doggy orthopedist next week. It nearly broke my heart (and likely his) to leave him behind. The Parental Dog (PDog) was more then happy to be spoiled for all that she is always nervous hiking about the unseen wildebeests that might be lurking out there and just waiting to pounce on her. The PDog has very poor eyesight and a very active imagination. My favorite story about her is of my dad taking her backpacking for the first time. He was sitting on a log eating his super with her sitting in front of him when an owl hooted off to the front of them. She promptly got up and went and sat behind my father! Brave she is not and as such she is usually glad to have the DDog there to have her back. Although Summit was there (the dog of Life-Long Friend) we were dog poor - I cannot remember the last time I went on an outdoor outing (discounting fieldwork) with other people where the dogs were not at least equal in number to humans if not exceeding them.
On my return H and I had a lovely time at the local pool where he showed me how he knows to blow out the air underwater by saying "artichoke" (which is a rather difficult word for him) and where we generally bounced and splashed around until his teeth were chattering and we had to lay on the hot concrete to warm up - him with his butt in the air. On our way home we stopped to look at his grandfather's current project which is to get the pool to be entirely dependent on solar energy.